“As every teacher knows, simply remembering the knowledge we learn in school is hardly the purpose of education,” said Andre Fenton, Professor of Neuroscience at New York University and senior author of research.
“Instead of just using our brains to store information for remembering, with the right mental training, we can also‘ learn to learn, ’which makes us more adaptable, aware, and smarter,” he added.
Researchers have often studied the intrigues of memory — especially how nerve cells store information from experience so that the same information can be recalled later. However, less is known about the underlying neurobiology of how we “learn to learn” —the mechanisms our brains use to transcend memory drawing and take advantage of past experiences in meaningful, new ways.
A better understanding of this process could suggest new methods for enhancing learning and designing accurate cognitive behavioral therapies for neuropsychiatric disorders such as anxiety, schizophrenia, and other forms of mental disorders.
To investigate this, the researchers conducted a series of experiments in mice whose ability to learn cognitively challenging tasks was assessed. Prior to evaluation, some mice received “cognitive control training” (CCT). They were placed in a slowly rotating arena and taught to avoid a slight impact with the help of stationary visual cues, ignoring the locations of the impact on the rotating floor. CCT mice were compared to control mice. One control group also learned to avoid the same location, but did not have to ignore irrelevant rotating locations.
The use of a rotation arena location avoidance methodology was vital in the experiment, the researchers pointed out because it manipulated location data and divided the environment into fixed and rotating components. In the past, the laboratory had shown that cerebral edema, brain memory and a navigation center, as well as the continuous activity of a molecule (protein kinase M zeta), which is crucial in maintaining circulatory elevation, were needed to avoid shocks in the rotating arena. strength of neuronal connections and storage of long-term memory.
“In short, there were molecular, physiological, and behavioral reasons to study long-term place-avoidance memory within the hippocampus, as well as a theory of how the circuit could continually improve,” Fenton explained.
Analysis of hippocampal nerve activity during CCT confirmed that mice used relevant information to avoid shock and to ignore rotating perturbations in the vicinity of the stroke. It is noteworthy that this disregard for distractions was necessary for mice learning to learn because it allowed them to perform new cognitive tasks better than mice that did not receive CCT. It should be noted that the researchers were able to measure that CCT also improved the function of mouse hippocampal neural circuits in data processing. The hippocampus is an important part of the brain in the formation of long-term memories as well as in terms of spatial navigation, and CCT improved its function for months.
“Research shows that two hours of cognitive guidance practice makes mice learn to learn and that learning involves better tuning of a key circuit in brain memory. As a result, the brain becomes increasingly effective at attenuating noisy inputs and more consistently. Effectively improving important inputs,” Fenton noted.
The other authors of the magazine were Ain Chung and Eliott Levy, NYU doctoral students at the time of the study; Claudia Jou a doctoral student at City University of New York’s Hunter College and Graduate Center; Alejandro Grau-Perales and Dino Dvorak, NYU postdoctoral researchers during the study; and Nida Hussain, a student at the NYU College of Arts and Science during his studies.
Source: The Nordic Page